Tomato Mushroom Couscous Salad

Tall One’s Mom has been making Paula Deen’s Tomato Mushroom Salad for a number of summers now.  Surprsiningly, being that this is a Paula Deen recipe, there is no butter, sour cream, or mayonaise involved.  Not surprisingly, being that this is a Paula Deen recipe, it is amazing in every way.

When it was announced that this week’s theme for the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange is SALADS, we knew that Paula’s salad was the perfect place to start.  We decided to make it a bit more hearty with the addition of Israeli cous cous and really loved the results.  So give our Tomato Mushroom Cous Cous Salad a try, or check out the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange hosted by Gimme Some Oven and Bake Your Day for even more tomato salad inspiration.  This week’s exchange is sponsered by BigKitchen Store and Recipes for Change, so click on over to learn how you can win some awesome prizes and support our country’s tomato farmers!

INGREDIENTS:
-1 cup of Israeli (also called pearl) couscous
-1 pint of cherry tomatoes
-10 oz package of mushrooms (we used baby portobellas)
-1/2 cup of red onion, chopped
-Bunch of fresh basil
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 (.6 oz) package of Italian salad dressing mix
-Fresh ground pepper

Prepare 1 cup of dry Israeli couscous according to package instructions.  While the couscous is cooking, halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to a large bowl.  Cut the mushrooms into bite sized pieces and combine with the mushrooms.  Rough chop or tear a bunch of basil (we used about 20 leaves) and toss it in with veggies.  Also add the chopped red onion.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and Itlaian dressing mix and set aside.  When the couscous is cooked, add it to the bowl with the tomatoes, mushrooms, and basil and gently toss with a wooden spoon.  Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss again.  We like to add the couscous when it is warm to help it absorb the flavors.  Allow the salad to cool for a couple of hours and soak up the dressing before serving.

Another simple recipe that tastes like summer 🙂

XOXO,
Tall and Small

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